Travel to Sheik Zayed Road

Sheik Zayed Road

The stretch of Sheikh Zayed Road before Interchange One is commonly known as the Trade Centre. It’s here that most of Dubai’s biggest and most impressive skyscrapers are found.  There is no part of Dubai more impressive than Shaikh Zayed Road, which stuns newcomers to the city with its glitzy designs. Among the most impressive buildings is the Emirates Towers office and hotel complex.  Shaikh Zayed Road, which has five lanes on each side with a barrier in between, stretches 55km from the Dubai World Trade Center roundabout to the border of Abu Dhabi. Although Shaikh Zayed Road can get busy in certain stretches during peak hours, for most of the day vehicles flow remarkably given how heavily the road is used. Shaikh Zayed Road meets other main roads in Dubai such as Al Ain Road, Hatta Road, Emirates Road, Jebel Ali - Lehbab Road and other arterial and main roads.

Overview

People

Dubai’s culture is rooted in Islam, providing a strength and inspiration that touches all aspects of everyday life. Virtually every neighborhood has its own mosque, where the faithful congregate for prayer five times every day. One of the largest and most beautiful - Jumeirah Mosque - is a spectacular example of modern Islamic architecture. Built of stone in medieval Fatimid style, the mosque is particularly attractive at night when subtle lighting throws its artistry into sharp relief. 

Ramadan, which commemorates the revelation of the Holy Koran, is the Holy Month of fasting when Muslims abstain from all food and drink from dawn to dusk. Courtesy and hospitality are among the most highly prized of virtues in the Arab world, and visitors will be charmed by the warmth and friendliness of the people.

Language

The official language is Arabic. English is widely understood and ranks alongside Arabic as the language of commerce.

History

Originally a small fishing and trading settlement, Dubai was taken over in about 1830 by a branch of the Bani Yas tribe from the Liwa oasis led by the Maktoum family who still rule the emirate today.

Traditional activities included herding sheep and goats, cultivating dates, fishing and pearling, but the inhabitants built up trade too. By the turn of the century, Dubai was reputed to have the largest souks on the Gulf coast, with 350 shops in the Deira district alone.

Commercial success allied to the liberal attitudes of Dubai’s rulers, made the emirate attractive to traders from India and Iran, who began to settle in the growing town. But, while trade developed, Dubai remained politically a protectorate of Britain as part of the Trucial States extending along the northern coast of the Arabian Peninsula.

On the British withdrawal in 1971, Dubai came together with Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, Fujairah and (in 1972) Ras Al Khaimah to create the federation of the United Arab Emirates.

This was shortly after the discovery of oil in 1966, which was soon to transform the emirate and its way of life. Dubai’s first oil exports in 1969 were followed by a period of rapid development that laid the foundations for today’s modern society. Much of the credit for this development can be traced to the vision of the late Ruler, HH Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum, who ensured that Dubai’s oil revenues, despite being relatively modest by the standards of the region, were deployed to maximum effect.

His work has been continued by the present Ruler, HH Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and his brother, Their Highnesses Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and UAE Minister of Finance and Industry. The result is that Dubai is constantly building up its infrastructure of transport facilities, schools, hospitals, tourism developments and other amenities of an advanced society.

Travel Guide

Currency

The monetary unit is the dirham (Dh) which is divided into 100 fils. The dirham is linked to the Special Drawing Right of the International Monetary Fund. It has been held constant against the US dollar since the end of 1980 at a mid-rate of approximately US$1= Dh3.67.

Weather

The UAE has a sub-tropical and arid climate. Rainfall is infrequent and irregular. Falling mainly in winter, it amounts to some 5 inches a year.  Temperatures range from a low of about 50 degrees Fahrenheit to a high of 118 degrees Fahrenheit. The mean daily maximum is 75 degrees in January rising to 106 degrees in July.

Health Requirements

No health certificates are required for entry to Dubai, but it is always wise to check before departure, as health restrictions may vary depending upon the situation at the time.

Visa Requirements

A passport is required to enter the UAE. For personal travel of 30 days or fewer, U.S. citizens holding valid tourist passports may obtain visitor visas at the port of entry for no fee. For stays longer than 30 days, all travelers must obtain a visa before arrival in the UAE.

Credit Cards

American Express, Diners Club, Visa, MasterCard, etc are generally accepted in the main hotels and larger shops but some retailers offer better bargains for cash.

Electrical Appliances

The electricity supply in Dubai is 220/240 volts at 50 cycles. US-made appliances may need a transformer.

Water

Tap water is quite safe to drink but visitors usually prefer locally-bottled mineral water and this is generally served in hotels and restaurants.

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Sheik Zayed Road

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